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Houston Westside in Kissimmee, Florida at the Knockout Christmas Classic

The Knockout Christmas Classic is one of the toughest in-season wrestling tournaments in the southeast, bringing in teams from all over the country! This tournament includes teams from Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, and now Texas! Houston Westside loaded 2 vans with 5 wrestlers and 3 coaches for an opportunity to seek out rare competition across the country. Below you can find a day 1 recap of the tournament.

Day 1 Recap:

Five Texas wrestlers took the mat on Thursday, December 21st at weight classes 113, 138, 144, 150, and 165. 2 Texas state placers are still I contingence for medals in this difficult southeast US tournament. Here is a weight-by-weight recap:

113 – Santiago Ramirez Santiago Ramirez comes in as the 10th seed in a stacked bracket with multiple stamp champions and placers from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and more. In Ramirez’s first match he faced an opponent from Palm Harbor, Florida and gets a nice warm up to the day by picking up an 18-3 technical fall at the buzzer (6:00) to advance to the round of 32.

In the round of 32 Ramirez picked up a pin via “chicken wing” against Cristoba Camarena of Colquitt County, Georgia. This sets Santi up for a match up against Florida’s returning state finalist Landon Quiroga in the round of 16!

Ramirez placed 3rd at the Texas state championships in 2023 so this will obviously be a big test for him against one of Florida’s best and he wasted no time getting to his offense by taking the first lead 2-0 and finishing the 1st period on top.

Ramirez wins the coin toss and chooses down in the 2nd period and earns a reversal followed by a full set of back points to go up 7-0. Camarena chose top in the 3rd with hopes of turning the match around but gives of another reversal after a flurry of scrambling.

Next, Ramirez gets two more turns on top to score another 5 points and tech falls the Florida state finalist! This match is followed by another match against Georgia returning state finalist DJ Clark. This one started a bit slow as the first period finished 0-0. All action ended up taking place in the 2nd period where Clark earned an escape and take down to go up 3-0.

There was a bunch of action in the 3rd period but no scoring so Ramirez drops this one and will wrestle in the blood rounds Friday morning for a top 6 spot on the podium….

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Written by Ty’Rae Carter

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